Friday, September 2, 2016

VACATION (2015)




Written & Directed By: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein 
Based on Characters Created By: John Hughes 
Cinematography By: Barry Peterson 
Editor:Jamie Gross 


Cast: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Charlie Day, Regina Hall, Keegan-Michael Key, Norman Reedus, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Kaitlin Olsen, Michael Pena, Colin Hanks, Hannah Davis, Ron Livingston,Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Elizabeth Gilles, John Francis Daley

Hoping to bring his family closer together and to recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, an adult Rusty Griswold takes his wife and two sons on a cross-country road trip to Walley World. Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned.

This film feels so downright mean and cynical which one can deal with but here it is done so cruelly. Not only in it's humor but also the characters. The film also has so many cameos and recognizable actors playing bit or supporting roles as the main characters race and travel around it feels like one of the road movies of this type. Think THE CANNONBALL RUN series of films and IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD

I would like to say that the Griswalds are innocent and have old school values, but that's not it the family seems to be normal or at least with it. The other films used to seem.

Like it was them versus the cruel modern world. Here they are all pretty modern Except for Rusty who seems just as dim as Clark was, not necessarily a throwback just weak and trusting. Where as the character in the films before seemed to be one of the few actual level headed characters. Here he is just a retread. As even his sister Audrey seems somewhat on track with the world. The only other character who seems just as out of it as Clark is his son Steele Stebbins as his youngest son Kevin just seems mean. I don't know if this is a trait that skips generations In This film.

All the supposedly polite and good willed characters. Here seem to be punished, abused and mercilessly pushed back their breaking points. As when Rusty finally breaks down it is understandable. Though why it takes so long after continuous embarrassments is a bigger mystery.

Ed Helms still seems to not quite be as interesting a lead actor as the film wants him to be. Nor is he a humorous leading man. I'm can see why they cast him as he always seems to play this type of nice and innocent. Though his performances have a sense of hope. But come off as weak and his characters beyond stupid and not in a funny way.

Supposedly Before Ed Helms was cast, a few people were suggested, among them were Jason Sudeikis, Adam Sandler and Michael Rosenbaum. Anthony Michael Hall, Ethan Embry and Johnny Galecki were offered to reprise their role as Rusty Griswold, before Ed Helms was eventually cast. Though the later choices seem to promise less Box Office. Though strangely Jason Lively Who played Rusty in NATIONAL LAMPOON’S EUROPEAN VACATION is left off the list.

The strongest performance and funniest performance actually comes from Christina Applegate as his wife. I only wish the film and material could match her performance. Especially in the scenes where she visits her old sorority and tries to prove she can still live up to her reputation.

The other factor that makes this film so unpleasant is that the youngest son is so unlikeable. Not only is he annoying, but so mean. We are constantly surprised no one disciplines him at all. As there movie villains o have found more like able and decent. Is Watching this film is one of the few times I have truly wanted someone to beat the crap out of a child or really wanted to and he is supposed to be part of the protagonists.

He could would normally seen to be a demon spawn in a horror film. As he is even worse then the kid in PROBLEM CHILD. Though here is his behavior supposed to be funny or cute. Because it seems over the top sadistic.

His comeuppance is too mild and still doesn't get the right amount of justice for the family or the kids main victim. His older brother. Even if the basic character develops and as a child he is just acting out as he needs boundaries.

As bad as the film. There are a few chuckles one about every 30 minutes. That seem more like throwaway gags. And some of the cameos are the only times the film is funny.

The film seems to have a cynical outlook with it's humor. For no real reason as the hopes seem lazy and telegraphed. More here if anything to shock rather then actually be funny.

It maybe that missing the character of Cousin Eddie or a character like that is missing from the film to add to the fun and confusion usually started by that character. Though obviously Randy Quaid can’t Reprise the role. So it seems like half the characters they run into try to be like that character or add in elements of him.

It feels like this film is peppered with so many other comedic actors and stars to serve as distractions as the films main character aren't that funny or strong. Then again the storyline allows for plenty of room for cameos and small supporting roles.

The film feels more like a sequel then a reboot. Especially in diminishing quality. As the humor never rises to the level Of the original or the performers. Where at least you can see them as victims of being outside their community a raking with the real world around them. In this film they seem like outcasts and victims no matter where they go, hell even in their own neighborhood.

Even if there is a happy ending with a final sequence that still seems cruel. That is supposed to make all the hardships worth it. Just to show them development to stand up for themselves. Though while playing the part of the angry activities.

The only people to appear in every Vacation movie are Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, except for Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure

Do yourself a favor and though not the greatest pay watch WE'RE THE MILLERS instead which feels like it could at least be in the vein of the series and is a lot more enjoyable

GRADE: F

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